What’s on Your Hair? The Conditioner Guide

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What’s on your hair? If it’s healthy, shiny, and growing, chances are you’re using the right conditioning treatments. But if you’re still seeking that wholesome sheen and length, you probably need this ultimate guide to conditioning hair. Here’s everything you need to know!

Rinse-Through Conditioners

Also known as instant conditioners, these lightweight treatments are applied to the hair immediately after shampooing and rinsed out after a few (2 to 10) minutes. You will usually see more shine and softness immediately, but the results probably won’t last more than a couple of days; this is because instant conditioners simply leave trace amounts of key ingredients on the hair shaft, kind of like an oil spot on concrete. These conditioners can help build volume, manage tangles, and moisturize hair, temporarily. Rinse-out conditioning is best when you just need locks to look better in a hurry, and can be done after any and every shampoo. If you have fine hair that is easily weighed down, try applying a rinse-out treatment before washing hair.

Protein Conditioners

A special kind of rinse-through conditioner for stressed or damaged manes. Good protein conditioners contain keratin, the same protein your hair is made of, and other strengthening ingredients that help fill in cracks in the hair cuticle, fortifying strands to beat breakage and shedding. Think of them as the glue that holds your hair together.

A word of caution, though: just like glue, protein conditioners alone can leave hair hard and brittle. It’s important to seal the newly-rebuilt hair cuticle with a moisturizing conditioner of some sort, especially for kinky or curly hair; the layer of moisture will help keep hair soft and manageable. (Consider this a follow-up layer of varnish.) As a result, protein conditioners should not be applied more than twice a month, even for the most damaged tresses.

Deep Treatments

Deep conditioners are an absolute must for dry, processed, and curlier hair types. These penetrating formulas are made to last, moisturizing tresses for a much longer time than instant treatments. Deep conditioning treatments soak into the hair shaft over 30 to 45 minutes or more, helping correct and prevent all kinds of mane problems including shedding, split ends, breakage, slow growth, and dullness. Apply these with a heating cap up to once per week and allow both strengthening and silkening ingredients to hydrate your hair from the inside out.

Leave-In Conditioners

These are a curly girl’s best friend. Not only do these treatments give strands “slippage,” making detangling easier, but they also provide ongoing moisture and protection from sun and wind damage. Leave-in conditioners, true to their name, are applied last before styling and can also help straight-locked ladies who spend a lot of time outdoors or have thick coifs keep their tresses under control and damage-free. Thicker products like Mane N’ Tail’s leave-in formula are best for kinks or tight curls, while liquid leave-ins like those by Infusium 23and Biotera suit straighter hair better. Use after every shampoo; for those with extremely dry natural black hair, consider using leave-ins even after a deep-conditioning or rinse-through treatment (you don’t want to try and comb it “naked”).

Hot-Oil Treatments

Using the right oils can help reinvigorate hair, adding flexibility to locks fried from blow-drying, flat ironing, or hot curling. The best route is to apply oils to dry strands, cover with a shower cap or plastic bag, and let your body heat drive the natural proteins and moisturizers into your now-open hair cuticles.

The main concern with hot oil conditioning treatments is finding the right balance of ingredients to soften the hair without weighing it down or clogging pores. Store-bought formulas tend to use alcohols to lighten the load, but naturally lightweight oils like coconut and carrot can get the job done for a fraction of the price. To further keep away the Greasy Head, only use hot-oil treatments once a month – stick to other conditioning options to keep your locks healthy.

Because of course you have plenty of options! All conditioners come in several formulas to serve a variety of needs, from straight hair that needs regular, lightweight protection to dry, damaged, and color-treated locks that crave heavy hydration. So there’s absolutely no excuse not to start making the hair your want tomorrow today.

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Throwback Thursday: Hair Edition

Yaya+Alafia+Butler+InStyle+Sep-1

Yaya, model turned actress gave us life this past September in her Instyle fashion spread.

She effortlessly posed for Instyle magazine in beautiful garments from Valentino, Marc Jacob, Marni & Louis Vouitton. But it was her big hair that caught our eye.  Ever since her journey on America’s Next Top Model to her role in Lee Daniels movie, The Butler, Yaya has been known as the girl with the fro.

Relive Yaya’s natural beauty and perfect fro below.

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Can Stress Really Make Your Hair Fall Out?

Stress and Your hair-loss-reasonsHair: What Causes Hair Loss?

A variety of stressors may cause your body to undergo hair loss. It happens, McMichael says, when there’s some type of physiological change in your system. “For instance,” she says, “you go on or off an oral contraceptive. Or you lose more than 15 pounds of weight. Things like this change the physiological balance in your system.”

Other stressors, according to McMichael, could include:

  • A strict low-calorie diet
  • Lower estrogen levels after childbirth
  • Severe illness
  • High fever
  • Major surgery
  • Severe infections

Mirmirani says that hair shedding can also result from certain medications, thyroid disease, and nutritional deficiencies such as vitamin D or too much vitamin A.

Pinpointing the actual cause of the shedding isn’t always easy. That’s because, Mirmirani says, there’s a three- to six-month lag time between the stressful event and the hair loss. In order to determine the cause, you need to look back at what was happening three, six, or even nine months before the hair loss began.

Source: WebMD.com

No Sweat: How to Gym-Proof Your Hair Extensions

Black-Hair-ExerciseIf you’re anything like us – you’ll be breaking all of your diet rules this Thanksgiving holiday. But after we chow down on those three plates of food.. Everyone is ready to exercise! And yet, with treadmills and metabolisms firing up, the heat is also rising on scalps and hair – and this can be disastrous for your virgin Empress Luxury Hair extensions. No sweat, though; you can still have it all by simply using a little inside knowledge about how to preserve and save your hair weave while exercising.

First and foremost, keep hair extensions as dry as possible by sweeping them away from your neck and forehead. Salty sweat is acidic and can dry out and damage your virgin Indian hair extensions. So pull tresses into topknots, buns, or ponytails – not low ones, to keep hair off the neck – or clip or wrap hair away. If wrapping your locks to keep them dry, keep hair in place with two separate wraps or scarves: one made of breathable mesh or satin (to secure hair in the wrap), topped by a simple cotton bandanna that absorbs and wicks away sweat. This tip will especially keep your head warm in winter!

However, when styling hair extensions for the gym, don’t pull too hard. Severe ponytails will slowly but surely pull out your hair extensions, and too much tugging on sewn-in tracks is a surefire way to loosen your braids or weaving base, frizzing up your look and cutting your style short. Aim for loose, sexy gym styles that let hair breathe and sweat evaporate.

Furthermore, avoid or shorten trips to the sauna or steam room, and try to wear a swimming or bathing cap to stop frizz before it starts. Moisture will poof out any hairstyle over time.

If you have them, make sure to remove clip-on hair extensions before working out. It sounds simple, but many ladies just refuse to do it. Fight this urge! Removing clip-on hair pieces is the easiest way to keep the hair from getting sweaty, dirty, or matted, and cuts down on the amount of washing and handling you need to do on your tracks.

Also avoid bonding or gluing in hair when you plan to be active. Chemical bonding glues can react badly with sweat and under heat, so you don’t want to chance it; save these types of weaves for weekends or other short-term applications when you won’t be exercising.

On the other hand, though, fusion applications can be fine for active women, so long as you are especially careful when pulling fusion hair into ponytails. The edges of your hair are the first to loosen, and you don’t want to speed up this process, so be gentle!

Of course, these are the same tips you should follow for any kind of hair extensions, whether sewn-in wefts, individual braids, or a wig. Your Empress Luxury Hair extensions are an investment in your beauty, just like your hours in the gym or on the track. Don’t let your weave keep you from working out. Keep your whole look together by protecting your hair weaves and pieces, and you’ll get through this year’s holiday season on the right foot (and strand).

Hair Trend: Mid-Length Hairstyles

While we love rocking our booty-length extensions, sometimes we go for a little shorter. Mid-length hairstyles have been one of our favorite trends this year. From Mrs. “FLOTUS” Michelle Obama to Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope on the hit show Scandal, shorter lengths are definitely all the rage right now!

medium-length-hairstyles

So tell us, whose medium length ‘do is your favorite?

Winter Hair Care: Keep Winning this Winter

“At last!” you think to yourself – the humidity of summer that causes your hair to become frizzy and unmanageable is coming to an end. Unfortunately, however, winter can be an equally brutal season on your locks and your hair requires the proper treatment to remain healthy. Winter months mean cold air, and cold air is often dry which can dry out your scalp, produce dandruff, redness and irritation, and cause your hair to become dull and brittle. Keep your hair healthy and start a new beauty routine based on the tips for winter hair care below!

winter hair Winter Hair Care Tips   Keep WINNING this Winter

Taking Care of Your Hair When the Temperature Drops:

  • One of the best things you can do for your hair in winter is to increase the frequency in which you deep condition your hair to keep dry air from causing your strands to break.
  • Don’t shampoo your hair too often; in winter it’s better to accumulate product build-up in your hair rather than try to remove it.
  • Although clarifying shampoos are excellent for removing product build-up, they can remove the protective oils from your scalp leaving your hair even more exposed to the elements.
  • You should avoid chemicals as much as possible; winter is not the time to get a perm or bleach your hair with peroxide.
  • Because the dry air can make your hair brittle and cause it to break easily, also avoid over-brushing. Instead, use a wide-tooth comb when your hair is wet and dry.
  • To prevent breakage from spreading from ends to roots, make sure to trim your hair often. If your goal is maintain the length of your hair, you should trim about a half an inch a month; if you want your hair to grow longer, trim your hair half an inch every other month.
  • It may sound like common sense or like a “last ditch” effort, but cover up your hair with a scarf or hat if you’re going to be outside; extreme temperatures, wind, and even the sun can do a number on your hair in the winter.

Benefits of Wearing a Weave Closure

Lace Closure - Empress Luxury Hair

If you’re a frequent weave wearer you know blending your hair makes all the difference between a flawless install and a weave that looks just like that, a weave. If you normally get a partial sew-in but may have concerns over the stress and breakage you may be putting your hair through when blending usually top and sides of your natural hair with your weave, then a lace closure would be perfect for you.

What’s a Lace Closure? Lace Closures are specialized hair pieces in which the strands are hand-tied to a lace.  The result is a piece that is sewn down to your braided hair that may be parted freely in any direction for a natural appearance without having to leave ANY of your natural hair exposed.

And did we mention it comes with its share of benefits?! There are many advantages of wearing a closure with your weave including:

True protective hairstyle.  None of your hair is exposed allowing it to rest and grow.  Your hair is braided and protected underneath your weave and closure allowing optimum protective styling. This works particularly well for ladies who are balding or thinning or suffer from various forms of alopecia.

No Blending, No Worries!  Making sure your tracks are covered that your hair is properly laid over the wefts of your weave will be a thing of the past.

Texture Isn’t an Issue.  Natural haired ladies won’t have to constantly use heat to match the straight texture of their extensions, relaxed girls won’t have to braid, twist and curl their hair to match wavy and curly textures.  You can just purchase a closure with the same texture as your extensions and not have to worry about any of that.

Color To-Go  You dye your weave any color your heart desires without having to color your real hair to match.  You no longer have to worry about damaging your real strands trying to color match your weave to your leave out.